Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Technology in Strategic plan? (Reggie Henry is my new hero)

Reggie Henry is my new hero! I an recent post he shares a conversation with a COO that is awesome! If I wasn't an anonymous blogger, I would tell Reggie Henry to meet up with me. Maybe Reggie was talking to my organization in this post:

So I have had similar thoughts for a long time and created this slide, so thought it was time to try to figure out how to share it. So here goes my first attempt at sharing a video here:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NTEN Conference, love it

OK, So I am all registered for the NTEN conference and cant wait to attend. And a visit to New Orleans, oh the fun that will be had. There are parts of my first visit to New Orleans that I dont remember and others I remember a little too well. Anyway....

I have been going to NTEN NTC for years and always get something new and different out of it. I have been a huge Holly Ross fan and cant wait to see what happens now that she is the head honcho. All nonprofits should make an effort to be represented there.

My favorite things about the NTC:
  1. The NTC is THE PLACE to learn from your peers, see what is happening in the NPO world of tech. My NPO is at times limited in its experimentation with tech. This conference is laid out perfectly to force NPO staff, NPTech Consultants and vendors to share and challenge each other.
  2. There is no better event to meet the who's who in the NPTech community. I am a huge fan of the NTEN staff, NPower, Idealware and TechSoup! I cant get enough of hanging out with this crew and listening to them present. Plus the talents of Beth Kanter, Michell Murain, Michael Stein, John Kenyon, and too many others to mention.
  3. Awesome blend of communications, leadership, tech and other topics that show the full picture of how to get it done.
  4. Mission meets tech - you wont find another place where you can feel the passion for mission, advocacy and making a real difference and the tech brains and power to do it!
Yet at the same time, I have my questions and reservations:

  1. Have you ever compared a corporate technology conference agenda to the NTC agenda? They are vastly different and should be, but are we missing a certain level of certification, professional, techy or something. (Gartner, Forrester) I have a few colleagues that dismiss the NTC quickly because they go to other events in order to keep their credentials and maybe we arent shooting to get those people to attend. So are we pushing NPOs to start the trendy and fun parts of tech, but forget about network stability, security, standards, better tech support, etc. I personally prefer NTEN but...
  2. Preaching to the choir? By having a separate conference that focuses on technology are we pulling away from the other staff at our NPOs? I love the leadership series webcasts from NTEN, that is a great idea. And I know NTEN has been pushing for more and different NPO leadership and staff to attend. But one theme is that tech needs leadership support to be successful, but are we really hitting that audience or just talking to ourselves?
  3. Where are the big name nonprofits? Why arent there more of the larger nonprofits involved and sharing with everyone? Does someone come from the Red Cross, Wildlife Foundation, Gates Foundation, etc.
  4. Are the sessions to diverse to really serve one purpose? Does it make sense to try to cover soo many things? I like the variety, but it makes it hard to get deep into one thing and to focus.
Anyway, just my ramblings. I would love to know what you all think.

I love NTEN and Holly and the rest of the team. I look forward to the NTC every year. I would love to meet all of you there, if you only knew who I am.

Monday, January 7, 2008

most controversial CIO issues of the year? what about NPtech?

What were the most controversial issues for Nonprofit techies in 2007? I found this article about most controversial issues for corporate CIOs, but does it apply to NPOs as well?

The most controversial CIO issues of the year By Staff

02 Jan 2008 |

Here are the highlights:

1. Age discrimination

Without a doubt, CIOs have their careers top of mind.

My Comment, not sure how this one applies, but it is interesting to think about how many NPOs run on legacy or older systems that rely on the expertise of a single baby boomer to support it, so what happens when that person retires? Oh wait, they just come back and volunteer.

2. Going green

If you talk to vendors, it is better to be green. But CIOs are not jumping on the green IT bandwagon -- even the largest organizations are taking a wait-and-see approach, which experts say is shortsighted.

My Comment, NPOs are all about causes, we are out to save the world. So why havent we seen the topic of green computing more on the fore-front for NPOs? I know my org has tossed around a few ideas, but I dont see any real understanding of what needs to be done or actions to move forward.

3. ITIL demands executive support.

It's true. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) isn't that controversial, but boy, is it talked about a lot.

My Comment, I have said this before, corporate IT is chatting heavily about some awesome standards like ITIL that can have a real impact on large organizations. But I am yet to meet too many NPTech staff that even knows what that is.

4. Social networking

Admit it. Sites such as YouTube and MySpace are the bane of a CIO's existence.

My Comment, Hmm, is this the opposite or the same for NPOs? I see so many people talking about how awesome these things are for NPOs, but is it the CIOs that like it or the mission people? I know at my org it is more like a problem than a solution. But I think that is because of a misunderstanding of it, not a reality.

5. Staffing

It was a good year to be looking for a job; a bit tougher if you were looking to hire.

My Comment, I think this is true for my org, when orgs were looking for new staff or new IT staff it was tough to find good ones at the right price. I think this is going to get even more exaggerated, although I think NPOs have a small advantage because I think there is going to be a large group of people looking to make a real difference. But can we show how IT staff can make a real difference and can we set up our NPOs in such a way that we actually leverage our IT staff beyond just the web site?

What do you think?